By: Jack Kobus
After another exciting weekend of football to Super Bowl LVI. In this highly anticipated game, we’ll see two of the NFL’s top offenses go head-to-head, the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams. Once again Joe Burrow has shown the world, he is the man. He took down Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs with an 18-point comeback after trailing 21-3 in the first half of the game. Burrow once again had over 220 yards along with 2 touchdowns. The Bengals stellar second-half performance showed the world we can’t ever count these guys out. On the other side of the ball, we have the Rams led by Matthew Stafford, who in his past 2 playoff games has had over 700 passing yards and 4 touchdowns. This game will come down to whose quarterback can make more plays. We’ve seen Burrow do it, but we wonder if Stafford can too. With this game being one of the most notorious games for betting I’m here to help you out with some bets I think will help you succeed.
My first bet should be an obvious one, a Cooper Kupp touchdown. Kupp has been the best WR in the league this year finishing with the second-best WR season of all time. Kupp is second all-time behind Calvin Johnson in receiving yards for a season. Also, this season Kupp took home the triple crown, leading the NFL in receiving yards, touchdowns, and receptions. He has not slowed down in the playoffs. His playoff stats include 25 Receptions, 386 Yards, and 4 Touchdowns. He is Stafford’s go-to guy and I think Stafford is going to rely on him this game to make some big plays. Another bet I want to include is an Odell Beckham touchdown. After last game (9 rec, 113 yds) we see Stafford has begun to trust Odell at the right time. Even though we didn’t see a touchdown from him against the 49ers, he has averaged 5+ receptions each game and I think he’ll find the endzone this Sunday. With these two players averaging 200 yards combined in the last game, you might also want to include Matthew Stafford’s over for passing yards. I would bet over if his yard range were between 220-270. He has put on a passing clinic in these playoffs, and I don’t see him stopping especially against a weak secondary. Moving to the defensive side of the ball. I would make a bet of the Rams to get over 5.5 sacks. The Rams have arguably the two best pass rushers in the league; Aaron Donald and Von Miller. These two players are truly terrorizing offensive linemen around the league. With the Bengals having such a weak offensive line, I expect Aaron Donald to eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner especially after coming off a 5-sack game against a talented 49ers offensive line. They are hot and will look to keep the ball rolling.
Now on to the show-stopping Bengals team. This team has overcome every obstacle that has been put in front of them this season. Initially predicted to finish last in the AFC North, they are now competing for a Super Bowl all thanks to Joe Burrow. He has been magnificent this season including the playoffs. Coming off a 250-yard, 2 touchdown performance, I expect him to find the endzone a couple of times this game. I have a good feeling about Ja’marr Chase finding the back of the endzone and would place a bet on him to score. These two guys have lit up the league and it's looking like they are only getting better. Even though Chase will be guarded by the best Cornerback in the NFL, Jalen Ramsey, the Bengals have set up plays for him to succeed when he goes against elite talent. Joe Burrow will need someone to fall back on especially with the pressure he will face, and I think that man will be Ja’marr Chase who Burrow targets 7+ times on average per game. As mentioned, before I don’t think the Bengals' defense is talented enough to bet on, but someone who I think could be a big factor in this game is Joe Mixon. With the Rams having such a good defensive line, don’t expect Mixon to break one loose, but if the Bengals were smart and wanted to win this game, they would pound the rock to Mixon. They need to have Mixon constantly running into Aaron Donald and making contact to wear him out if they want a chance of having the passing game open up. Another secret weapon is to get Mixon involved in the passing game. Mixon struggled with efficiency on the ground towards the end of the season, but there’s a fantastic opportunity for him to do some damage in the passing game. The Rams’ defense is ranked ninth in terms of rushing yards allowed to running backs per game (78.5), but 16th in terms of receiving yards allowed to running backs per game (37.1). They give up 6.1 yards per target to backs and allowed Elijah Mitchell and Leonard Fournette to go for 50 yards or more through the air in this postseason. Mixon has been targeted 3+ times a game and has ended up hauling in every pass so I see the Bengals try this against a star-studded defensive just to keep them on their toes. Another player who can come up huge is Tee Higgins. There have been 10 games this season where Higgins has seen seven or more targets, and he’s cleared 5.5 receptions in eight of them. Joe Burrow is going to have to throw the ball to keep up with the Rams' offense, and with Chase getting a lot of attention from the LA secondary that should open more targets for Higgins. It would be no surprise to see both men record Over 5.5 receptions, but the value is on Higgins. Higgins is coming off a 7 reception, 96-yard game against the Titans and a 6 reception 103-yard game against the Chiefs. Jalen Ramsey who is known for his lockdown ability will be on Chase like a leash. Higgins can be everyone’s hero if they bet right.
This game will be a high-intensity shootout with plays being made on both ends of the ball. I think the Rams are the favorite strictly because of their talented defense, but as we’ve seen so far Joe Burrow fears no man. I would expect the Rams to come out on top with a final score of 28-21.